Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Five: Post-Spending Freeze Planned Purchases

Tomorrow my February spending freeze will be over. Just in time for birthday month treat yo self.

I did well on my personal spending - I bought a Wawa Coffee on February 7 when my Keurig broke and a donut on Fat Tuesday not using my Dunkin Donuts gift card. We did have some household expenses this month - new Keurig, TV antenna - that were unplanned but still covered within the pre-set household budget. We also went out to dinner with friends on February 13 but MFD picked that tab up because I am his personal chef the rest of the time. I rarely pick up dinners out.

Since we didn't do much otherwise, I put all of my extra money towards my car payment, knocking a month and a half off the end date. Boom. On a high from that achievement, I treated yesterday like fuck this shit o'clock concerning the freeze. I suspended it two days before it was to end anyway and ordered the following from Amazon:

Sunday, my birthday month begins. I've been perusing Loft, Gap, and Old Navy for spring attire but nothing is lighting the world on fire. Pick it up, stores. I have some holes in my spring wardrobe and you're boring me. These are some of my planned purchases:

1. Rimmel Provacalips in Make Your Move
2. Anastasia Liquid Lips in Lovely or Pure Hollywood
3. Spring/summer quilt for our bed - Nothing in mind for this, I prefer to hunt in Marshalls, HomeGoods, & TJMaxx. Also more of a household purchase than a personal purchase, but one I'll enjoy making nonetheless.

4. Earthies Bindi flat in Biscuit. I'm strategically replacing some of my shoes with some that will provide support for my effed up feet. Hashtag old lady hashtag podiatrist told me to. Turns out not-ugly supportive shoes cost eleventy billion dollars (seriously, not on sale these are $150, I simply don't typically spend that on any shoe, let alone freaking flats), which is why the replacement is strategic.
5. A french press. Coffee coffee coffee.
And you? What do you have your eye on?

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February Recommendations

Skimmers, recommendations are in bold. Anything that's colored text is a clickable link. Aside from me, this month you get recs from Nicole at Nicole Marica. She's another Philly-area blogger and I do so hope you check her out.

Follow Nicole on
Twitter        Instagram       Facebook       Bloglovin       Pinterest

The Truth makes movies for your ears. Each podcast is about 15 minutes long and it's a little short story acted out. I have loved each and every episode I've listened to so far.

2. Neutrogena Hydro Boost

I'm really picky about mositurizers. I prefer gel ones to the cream ones because I feel like the cream ones make me breakout badly. The problem with most gel moisturizers is that they contain alcohol so they're drying my skin out at the same time as moisturizing it. Hydro Boost has been really good to my skin this winter, which has been dryer than usual.
3. Teavana Youthberry Brewed Tea
I normally prefer black tea but I decided to try a different flavored tea when I stopped by a Starbucks one day. This tea was delicious, a nice fruity flavor that wasn't overpowering, it's definitely worth a try!

4. Kar's Nut n' Yogurt Trail Mix

I grab a bag of this before I go to school on weeknights, it's one of my favorite snacks!


1. A 6 ft iPhone charger: Apple is a total asshole for putting out 3 ft cord chargers. I love this 6 ft one, and at $13.99 it's cheaper than the Apple regular length charger. It's Apple certified and it works. Boom.
2. Larabars: I like the cherry pie and apple pie. If it has to be pre-packaged, and let's face it, sometimes it does - Larabars are a good choice. They're all natural and made from 100% whole foods. If you're concerned, they're also gluten-dairy-soy free, kosher, vegan, and non-GMO.

3.  642 Things to Write About Journal. If you want to write more and often find yourself stuck at the start, this is a great journal to exercise your brain.

4.  Spiral veggie slicer by Native Spring. There are a lot of spiralizers out there. I saw this one on B Loved Boston and got it right after Christmas. It's easy to use, easy to clean, and most importantly for me, it stores in a drawer. I can't deal with another kitchen item that takes up room in my cabinets. It didn't hurt that it was only $13.

5. Cathay Home Microfiber Peach Skin Sheet Set. I put these on my Amazon wish list when I saw them on Another Clean Slate way back in June. Lori got them for me for Christmas and I wish I had more so they could always be on my bed even when a set was in the wash. They're super soft and feel like a hug, which you'd never think you'd get for $30, but you do. You do indeed.
What are you recommending this month?

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 Linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I found a magic wand in the street

When I wave it, whatever I’m thinking happens.

I use it to give: good and healthy food to those that are hungry, shelter to those without homes, flowing water to those without access to it, love to children who have been forgotten or abused, job opportunities to the masses, care to pets who have been cast aside, love of self to those who lack it, equality to all, freedom of choice to those who live under oppression.

I use it to take away: drugs on the corners, litter and graffiti from streets, demons from addicts, ignorance and fear from hearts, power from the corrupt, weapons from gangs and criminals, pain from those suffering from illnesses, depression from those under its thumb, laziness from those who are ruled by it, hopelessness from everyone and everything.

I use it to fix: the justice system, the education system, the welfare system, the US government, the potholes in Pottholevanyia/Pennsylvania.

I use it for selfish reasons: so my dogs live as long as I do, so the lives of my people are a little easier, so my house is white glove clean daily, so my bank account is filled, so unwanted weight is removed, so I own a shore house outright, so I never happen upon dishes left in the sink, so I have willpower when I need it, so I never see leggings being worn as pants in public.

Then I hand the wand to you and take a nap because that was a lot of waving. 

How do you use the magic wand?

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Monday, February 23, 2015

TWTW - the one about nothing

Let me preface this post by saying I did basically nothing this weekend and it was glorious. We've been on the go a little and it was nice to not leave the house at all from Friday until Monday morning.

I celebrated National Love Your Pet Day Friday - sorry for the double share on Instagram and here.
I kept up with my 40/40 - zumba on Friday night, walking/weights/stretchy band Saturday, and active rest on Sunday - slow walking, abs, and stretching.
I kept up with my use a new nail polish every time thing - I've been going bright so it was nice to go neutral with OPI Bubble Bath.
I read a shit ton of magazines and watched a Parks & Rec Treat Yoself marathon all weekend.
I stayed in Saturday with my people.
I cooked. Salad, steamed brussels sprouts, and blackened salmon for dinner Friday night. No bake energy bites for the week. Filling for breakfast burritos to freeze and quinoa and ground turkey to use for stuffed peppers. Turkey meatloaf, garlic mashed cauliflower, and roasted asparagus for Saturday dinner. Egg muffins with sausage, mushrooms, and spinach for the week. Healthy bananas foster in the crockpot with homemade greek vanilla frozen yogurt. Not pictured - ham taken out of the freezer and mashed sweet potatoes. Lunches are leftovers from dinners.
I hausfraued in the general upkeep style. I did laundry and put it away the same day - that never happens. I also wiped down baths, cleaned the kitchen, etc. Same shit I do every day.

I watched the Oscars. I was going to do a post on it but then I just felt like vegging out in a blob-like fashion instead of hunting down images of Oscar fashion so that's what I did. I was jazzed to see Reese Witherspoon share the #ASKHERMORE hashtag on Instagram & Twitter to get interviewers to ask women on the red carpet more about their work and less about their dresses. I adore that. YOU GO REESE.
I also loved speeches from Patricia Arquette, Graham Moore, Common/JohnLegend, and Eddie Redmayne and performances by Lady Gaga, Common, and John Legend. The fashion was meh.
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Marching towards spring. Inch by inch. Even though I almost busted my ass this morning on black ice on the way into work.

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Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending

Friday, February 20, 2015

I remember...childhood summers

After a brutally cold week, I took a few minutes last night to think fondly of my summers before I turned 17 and worked most of them away indoors.

I wouldn't be a kid again for all the money in the world, but I sure look back fondly on my time as one. Today some schools around here are closed due to cold. I wonder what those kids are going to think when they grow up and realize work doesn't close due to cold?

Let's go somewhere warm together, even if it's only in our imagination...what do your childhood summers call to mind?

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Linking up with Amanda for Friday Favorites.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Currently...February of what I pass on the way in like a dork. Not like I haven't seen these scenes daily for more than six years. When we pass through North Philly, I feel like I'm looking over the set of The Wire. Only this is real life. It scares me and fascinates me.
North Philly abandoned factory, Schuylkill River, 30th Street Station
Drinking...a shit ton of peppermint and green tea.

Keeping a list...of small birthday celebrations/things to do in March.
Please excuse my serial killer handwriting
Wishing...I had more paid time off in a year.

Wearing...Everything I own because I'm laying all of my clothes out for the week. I'm not just throwing on whatever I grab first so I'm actually using all of my clothes. A novel concept, no?

Hating...wearing a winter coat. I'm over it. I'll even settle for being able to wear this one. Originally $188 at LOFT, scored for $55. I'm also over layering pants to be able to commute without freezing.

Reading...What feels like a zillion young adult novels. Out of all 10 books I've requested, the first two to come in are the same genre.

Regretting...My grand plan to switch my library pickup to the one near work that requires walking has backfired. I should've done this as we got closer to spring because I've been freezing my face off heading over there every week. But I do love the walk and the sights.
Swann Fountain and Basilica, door of Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, a glimpse into the Parkway Central Free Library
Playing...along again with 40/40 - 40 minutes of exercise daily for 40 days. In previous years I've taken Sundays off. I'm going to try not to do that this year. We'll see how it goes.

Watching...CSI, the original. I've been watching that show for 15 years. One of the last originals is gone.

Loving...The cheap ass $9 on zulily wedding band I've been wearing. If you didn't know, I switch my wedding bands frequently. Sometimes I wear one for a while, sometimes I wear no rings at all. I know I'm married. I rarely wear my engagement ring in the winter because it sticks on gloves. I love throwing this little jobby on. Simple.
Appreciating...Stephen & Aubrey giving us their Flyers tickets on Tuesday night.
MFD always believes he will win the raffle. He never does. 
Counting down...17 days until Daylight Savings, 24 days until my birthday, 29 days until spring.

Nodding at...Lounge attire rules.

And you?

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Linking up with Kristin and Joey for Stuff & Things

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I know this much is true

Some things are scientific facts that can be looked up. Some things can't be proven, but we consider them facts nonetheless because they hold such truth in our lives. Of course, they're usually in opposition to someone else's truth. My truth is not necessarily your truth which is okay, because if we were all the same life would be extremely boring. If you need your friends to be carbon copies of you, you should rethink your life. Mean Girls is a movie, not a think tank.

Some things I know to be true...

-The beach is a good place to come to terms with life.

-No one can love you unless you love yourself.

-Using a base coat and a top coat on your nails is crucial to a good manicure.

-It is possible to have a casual, surface relationship with someone you don't like. It's called being a grown up and is required in certain situations.

-A good laugh, a long sleep, a cup of coffee, and salt water can cure most things.

-Excuses make the most stand-up people sound like assholes.

-Dogs throw up, pee, and poop on fabric surfaces over hard, easy to clean surfaces 97% of the time.

-Books will take you places you'll never go in person.

-Saying, "I'm so busy" doesn't make you cool or enviable. It means you've over-scheduled yourself.

-A person's skin color, genitals, age, political leanings, or god don't make them a good or bad person. It's what's in their heart, soul, and mind, and how they act.

-Constant cynicism is tiring. We get it, you're an enlightened skeptic. You're also draining as fuck.

-There are worse things in life than being wrong.

-Not making time for and practicing self care is not selfless, it's foolish.

-Life is not fair and the world owes us nothing except for what we earn.

-There's three sides to every story: yours, mine, and the truth.

-Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it. Right is right, even if no one is.

-Feminism is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. If you believe that, you're a feminist. 

-When the snorer falls asleep first, the other person gets no sleep. 

-Comparison is the thief of joy.

-Acting from a place of fear will never bring about the result I'm looking for, in any situation.

-There's bad everywhere, but there's also good. It's that way for a reason. We need the yin and the yang.

Thanks to The Girl Who Loved to Write for this post idea. 

What are some of your truths?

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 Linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Krauty Chicken

This dish is super easy, cheap, and healthy. I typically make it on the weekend and use for leftovers during the week or make it one night to use for dinner the next since it has a long time in the oven. I serve it with a side of steamed broccoli or green beans. Original recipe from The Country Gourmet Cookbook, I made some alterations.

Krauty Chicken

by Life According to Steph
Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 32 oz bag sauerkraut
  • 2 lemons
  • red pepper flakes
  • family pack chicken thighs
Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 13x9 glass pan.
Empty sauerkraut into a fine colander and rinse with cold water.
Squeeze excess water from kraut and place in the bottom of the pan.
Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. I don't like a lot of heat so I add sparingly.
You can use whatever type of chicken you like. I used chicken thighs and removed the skin but left the bone in. You can leave the skin on if that's your preference. Place chicken on top of kraut.
Salt and pepper chicken, then squeeze the juice of two lemons over the entire dish.
Bake one hour and 20 minutes. Do not open the oven while cooking.
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About sauerkraut...
is basically cabbage
Healthy and gassy

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Linking up for
Martinis & Bikinis
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